Triad Golden Retriever Rescue – Join our efforts!

Shameless plug for my favorite non-profit organization, Triad Golden Retriever Rescue out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Yes, this is a different blog post from what I normally post, but C’MON PEOPLE WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Coming up on Saturday, April 27, we are participating in our largest fundraising event of the year- The Human Race 5k FUN RUN!

Did I mention it is also the Human Race’s 25th anniversary this year?! So big & fun things will be happening.

Our fundraising goal has just been increased to $2,000- can you help us pass that?!

How can you help?

It’s simple:

Join our team of fundraisers by creating 
your own fundraising page CLICK here

Donate to our team fundraising page 
(no need to join as a fundraiser yourself) CLICK here

Share this blog, the link to our team page, or both!

Come join us on 'race day'! And tell your friends too. 
The more publicity the better!

(TGRR at the Human Race 2018)

Did we mention your dogs are welcome to walk the 5k with you?!

Where does your donation go?

Vet check ups and procedure (a large portion). Every dog we get in goes through a vet check up to make sure they are up to date on vaccines, etc. If they aren’t microchipped or fixed, they get that done. And in the unfortunate case of a more serious medical issue (heartworm, broken bones, mange, etc), we still cover the cost to get that done! We try to put the best possible effort into our dogs. And yes, I said our dogs because every dog that comes through our organization steals all of our hearts!

Misc fees such as participating at events, or booths, transportation costs, items that the foster homes might need, etc.

And if you’re encourage to do more with us, well dear friend, we are ALWAYS accepting new volunteers! Especially foster homes. The amount of work you put into your volunteer time is UP TO YOU! I’ve been with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue since November of 2017, and although I’ve taken on more responsibilities over time, I didn’t have to I wanted to! Because the outpouring of love and dedication throughout this organization is inspiring!


If you’re on the edge of signing up to become a volunteer with animal rescue, let me plug a few more things in here to sway you 🙂

Does that picture not speak to you?! How about this link? 


TGRR, my dogs, and ME, thank you for even considering helping us out with our Human Race fundraising goal this year!

Different Friends Exist for Different Phases of Life

& Why it’s Okay to Have Different Friends Through Different Life Phases

Some of you reading this may still have the same best friend that you met in Pre-K. And that’s freaking awesome.

Other’s like me, have had different friends in different phases of life, and only a few have transitioned from phase to phase. And the only ones who have been with me literally my whole life are my 2 bestie cousins (and my fam-bam of course too). But hey, at least we’re lucky that we like our family enough to call them best friends.

I used to think that having the same best friend throughout life was THE THING TO STRIVE FOR. And I never had that. Ask me in high school if you thought I’d be best friends with my high school (and middle school) best friend forever and I would have said heck yes. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in our high school would have thought that.

But just like we have phases of our lives for a reason,

I believe that we also have phases of friends for those phases of our lives for a reason.

It goes with that saying “Everything happens for a reason”.

The way I see it, there are certain friends that I think everyone needs throughout their life. Those friends are as follows:

1. The Lessons

Most of the time, you won’t realize these friends are only serving the purpose of giving you an important life lesson until long after the friendship has ended.

Sometimes, the lessons here will be huge. These friends might hurt you so hard that the only way you can come out of the friendship is to be stronger than you were before. The friends that serve the hardest lessons may present themselves in ways of: backstabbing you, throwing you under the bus (maybe literally if we’re talking about the movie Mean Girls), hooking up with your ex, or worse your current significant other, or just being a downright soul-sucking friend.

On the other hand though, the lessons from these friends might not be as huge. It might be that you simply grow as a person while being friends with these people, and as you grow you realize that you’ve got to leave some baggage behind. It’s not necessarily a bad thing for either one of you, you just grow and realize who you are and what kind of friends you need most.

2. The Dick Heads

Generally, these people will also fall into the category of the “huge lesson learned friend”. But I think these friends deserve a category all on your own.

Have you ever looked back on a friendship an thought “Why was I EVER friends with them?!” All they did was made fun of me, bail on plans, steal by friends or my boyfriend / girlfriend, and made me feel like absolute dirt about myself? Ya, those are the dick head friends. And if you’re reading this and are thinking “hm, that sounds like a friend I currently have” run fast, run far, cut that cord of negativity honey! 

3. Your Wannabes

and I’m not talking about people who wanted to be like YOU I’m talking about people who you wanted to be like . Why strive for that?! Let’s be honest though, we all had those ‘friends’, likely in grade school or somewhere around there. I know I did. We’d get so freaking excited when we got invited to their birthday parties, or if they asked us to hang out, or oh heck yeah they talked to us- in school! And don’t even get me started on when they let you borrow their clothes- but wait, was that just a cool thing to me?! These friends, and the fact that I’d be willing to be my bottom dollar that everyone reading this had one of those friends, were necessary. They stemmed, in my opinion, from the bullshit comparison game that society has drilled so far into our head. So while we were comparing our right eyebrow to the left, and comparing those 2 eyebrows to the pair on the model in the magazine you’re trying to mimic, we were also comparing ourselves against other people and basing it off of who we were friends with. Were we cool enough? What was cool anyway? And why did a person measure that?

4. The best friend you lost for, well you’re not sure why

Again, this may just apply to me, but I like to believe i’m not the only one. Let’s circle back to the beginning of this blog, “Ask me in high school if you thought I’d be best friends with my high school (and middle school) best friend forever and I would have said heck yes. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in our high school would have thought that.”

^^^TRUE. Shortly after graduating high school my best friendship I ever had fell apart. And months and then again years later, when we had spoken about what had happened, neither one of us knew why.

I’m not going to lie, or leave this line out for the sake of her possibly reading this, that hurt. My best friends now-a-days I sometimes find myself seeing her, and our friendship in. The friendship is over, but I cherish the memories we had, so much.

5. The one’s who got you through high school, you simply wouldn’t have survived without them

These are the ones who were always there for you even when you were trying to run circles around them to get just one lousy invite to the “wannabes” party. The ones you’d pass notes with in class (Dear God, I just realized that this probably doesn’t happen anymore. God help our younger generations and their attachment to their phones), the one’s you’d pee your pants laughing with at the lunch room table (oh wait, was that just me again?!), the one’s you’d get together with every weekend and still not get bored. The one’s you likely don’t talk to much anymore, you’ve just gone your separate ways. But if your paths crossed again, you’d likely be able to still carry on a conversation better than you can with most of your current coworkers.

6. and then there’s the ones who got you through college (spoiler, this is likely going to be your first college roommate)

Let me first point out that from here on out, I have started to incorporate pictures, because I’m getting to the point (in my life at least) that some of these friends have carried over into the next phase of my life.

And so there’s the first college roommate, eh em, I mean the friend that GOT YOU THROUGH COLLEGE SISTA.

From day 1 you explored your Whole New World together. You figured things out together. You tried new things together. And as you grew into your college years, you each found your niche, but you never lost touch (or maybe never stopped living together). This girl right here, was one of the greatest friends I had in college, because she was the most steady friend I had in college. Even when I failed to realize how freaking awesome she was and lived with other people after our first year together, we NEVER. LOST. TOUCH. Just 8 months ago she stood beside me as I married my best friend. Funny how fate works, because us rooming together was a LITERAL TOUCH OF FATE. Okay, fine I’ll tell you how it was fate (I have typed and erased this part multiple times, but here it REMAINS!)

It was a Saturday night & I was waitressing at the local watering hole in my home town. I was 19, and actually still at home going through my first year of college at community college. But I had decided to venture out the next year finally and go to the University of Northern Iowa. On this night, my parents were eating dinner at the watering hole and in walked a couple from the neighboring town that they knew. They got to talking and realized that like me, THEIR DAUGHTER TOO WAS GOING TO UNI. I knew this family, I actually hung out with their son (Lannon’s brother) frequently, we had the same friend group. Long story short, my parents said that I had a roommate who I didn’t know like anything about, and Lannon did not have a roommate. They called me over in between my tables, and we decided in a few seconds flat that I would reach out to Lannon to be roommates. So I went into the break room, pulled out my phone and Facebook Messaged her to be roommates- and she was at her PROM that night! (insert laughing face emoji here). Obvi it worked out, because this many years later we can still laugh about that night as well as the memories we had after

Universe, thank you for letting that play out like it did.

7. And on the other hand, the ones who got you into trouble in college

I’m not saying much about this one, because some things are just better left unsaid….. 🙂

But there were the friends who literally got you in trouble (lucky for me, in my case, I was watching people get in trouble around me and didn’t actually fall into much of it myself). And there were also a few Dick Head friends in college (spoiler: you’ll run into those your whole life).

when it comes to these college friends and the stupid shit we did, I just have one thing to say: We were still maturing okay..?!

8. Your first adulthood friend

Oh chelsinator. Most people think we were college friends but NOPE.

Your first adulthood friend is kind of…. astronomical. It’s like “hey I can do this thing called adulthood, and when I’m having a hard time figuring it out, I now have this person, MY PERSON to help me figure it out!”

This is one of the most important friends in my opinion, because as you are going forward into the cold, cruel world, it’s important to have someone beside you (even outside of your significant other) to help you navigate.

If you don’t have this friend yet, just wait you will. But let me tell you now- don’t ever let them go. You’ll need them to know you, and your tendencies. You’ll need them to encourage you to go for your dreams, or pull your head out of your ass when you’re having a rough day (or week or year). You’ll need them to grow with you. Someday you’ll become parents (or aunts /uncles or fur-parents) together, and you’ll need them to talk through all of the ups and downs of that phase of your life. You’ll simply need them to relate. Because chances are, you’ve found this first adult friend because you both were either in the same phase of your life, or you were transitioning into the next phase of your life at the same time. Something connected you, you can relate.

Don’t let your first adulthood friend go. They’ll prove to be too important to you. Even as phases of life change, I hope, I sincerely hope, that if you were ever able to carrying one friend over from phase to phase, that this one is it. 

9. The friend you made when you needed most

I am not sure this friend knows she came into my life when I needed most. She’s my first adult friend, in my new adult phase. I had moved 1,000 miles away from all previously mentioned friends and family and me, being the social butterfly I am, needed to find friends fast. NOT A PROBLEM HERE! But when my mom got sick (and is now better!) I realized that I had met this friend, because we shared a common ground there. Even if we didn’t talk about it much, I had comfort in knowing that we could. 

Maybe you’re struggling, or feeling lost and alone, like you’ve got no one to turn to but want someone so desperately bad. My advice to you, is to not look to hard for someone to help. This person, the friend you need the most, will come when you aren’t looking for it. The universe works to help us out, I believe that to be true.

10. The friends you’ve found along the way who you never saw yourself being with, but you know that you were MEANT to be friends

Like how did we become friends?! And how are we best freaking friends.

You want to know my favorite part about adulthood friends? They never stop coming. Just when you think you’ve got your squad all tied up, no more entries, no more free passes, the universe throws another one your way. Maybe you move, or start a new job, or try out a new gym. There will be a new friend there for you, and you won’t be expecting it.

But I love how these adult friends keep coming, and in my case, they arrive in the strangest and most unique packages I could have ever imagined.

My other favorite thing about these adult friends? Now that we’re older and mature (at least I hope you are!) we’re confident that these friends, these are for life. Regardless of…. well anything.

11. The best friend you found in your significant other

My best friend of over 6 years now, but after 3 weeks of dating I knew I’d be best friends with him for life. I call myself very lucky for that.

If you don’t have a best friend in a significant other, because you don’t have a significant other yet. Let me just remind you of one important word there- yet. Just like I need you to not look too hard for the friend you need the most, don’t look too hard for this best friend either. Just like the phases of your life, these friends will come on their own terms. Let the puzzle fall into place.

12. The best friends you’ve had all along

Like I said at the beginning, some of you are lucky enough to have had the same best friend through it all. Well, me too technically. They’re called family.

We’ve got Lauren. My younger cousin of 1 year on my dad’s side

We’ve got Jordan. My older cousin of 3 years on my mom’s side

We’ve even got my brother. Who I take great pride in being best friends with.

I know all 3 of these friends are a unique situation for me, because I’d bet many of you reading this don’t even like your family! And that’s okay. Even if you don’t have a #12 friend, I hope you don’t dwell on that, because think of all of the other friends you have. And I feel like this is as good of place as any to say it’s not about the quantity of friends you have, it’s about the quality. 

13. Your work friends

Because let’s be honest, these are more important than the high school or college friends. You simply would not be surviving another day in your musty smelling, too dull, or entirely too obnoxious office where you’ve likely spilled coffee on yourself, or others, more than once. These friends count when it matters! They keep your too-busy adulthood brain SANE!

And a bonus one for me….

14. The best friends you’ve found in your dogs 🙂

and a double bonus

15. My Parents

As you go forward with your life, and you start to see your friendships changing, and more importantly, you start to see yourself changing. Don’t dwell on the fact that change is happening. Embrace that.

These different phases. These different friends. They are what shape us into the beautiful works of art we were meant to be all along.



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Instagram: @lifeofcarlyb_ 

Who is LifeofCarlyb_?


Let me…. reintroduce myself!

Nearly four years ago I started this blog. The general intent behind it was to educate YOU guys about various health and fitness topics. Within the first few years I wrote about topics from proper exercise, recovery, nutrition, and provided fitness challenges and tips. Then I kind of…. slowed down, to a near stop with all of my posting.

Within the past few months I’ve amped it back up, but in a new way!

The original title(s) of this blog were InFITiny Health (the idea that your health should last you to infinity, and not temporarily) and Commit Fit Carly (the idea that you should COMMIT to your fitness, with me!). Now, we’re at Life of Carly B, which is the same thing my instagram handle has changed to. Why the change? Simply because I want to share with you more than just nutrition and fitness topics. LIFE is about more than that. WELLNESS is about more than that. And quite frankly, I like talking about my dogs, and being blunt about controversial topics now more than I care to write about how to do a proper squat (for that, come chat with me in person 🙂 ).

So let me say again,


My name is Carly. Or as some like to call me, Carly B. My last name is Buehler, by marriage, which I guess you can saw is also by choice 😉 I’ve had that last name for just over half a year now and have already heard FERRRISSSSS jokes approximately 429580103 times.

You can also call me: dog mom, fitness junkie, optimist, realist, down to fuggggin earth, muscle barbie, whatever floats your boat. Insult me? I’ll brush it right off these strong & bulky shoulders of mine.

I grew up in IL, spent the first 19 years of my life there before moving to IA where I attended school at University of Northern Iowa (Go Cats!). There, I double majored in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. I loved school. Like if you want to pay me to go to school for the rest of my life, I think I would! I like the structure of the schedule college requires, I actually enjoyed research, and presentations, speaking in front of crowds, and just learning. My last four semesters of college I had anywhere from 18-21 credits going at a time, and I f*cking rocked it!

While studying exercise, I began my career in Exercise as a Personal Trainer while in school in 2013. As I’m writing this, I’ve worked in the industry for six years. I’ve done nearly it all. Personal Training, group exercise, fitness management, small studio management, and social media marketing for said gyms. I’ve worked with 13 year old athletes, D3 athletes who underestimated my skill as a female kickboxing instructor, and 70+ year olds, some who were training to hike the grand canyon, others who were training to be healthy with two stints in their heart. I’ve started my own online training business, and then quit it because quite frankly it was not fueling my soul. You want to know what DOES fuel my soul? Writing. This right here. Oh and animals…. and Orangetheory, the beach, my family, my friends, and a good ole MIMOSA.

I’m an animal lover, I volunteer with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue on a weekly basis, putting in anywhere from 1-5 hours of volunteer work per week. I have two English Creme Golden retrievers and they f*cking rock my world. Oh, let’s not forget the rescue cat that behaves just. like. a. dog. As previously mentioned, I’m married. I met my husband in college through a mutual friend (s/o to Luke Nuehaus) at a party (#noshame). My side hustle is coaching at Orangetheory Fitness, and I will never give that up – TRY TO MAKE ME OR JOIN ME!

I grew up being friends with everyone, but somehow always find myself being one of the guys. #lessdramahoney at the same time, I take pride in trying to out-lift your ass (yes guys, I’m talking to you). I preach, encourage, and shout to the world the importance of being a strong & strong-willed BOMB ASS WOMAN (insert fist pumping emoji here).

And if you haven’t been able to tell yet, I like to cuss, and no I will not change my language for the sake of you and YOUR opinion.

I get it, I can be a little bit much for some people. Sorry- not sorry. I don’t live my life to impress. My life quote? You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. My life song(s)? Meghan Trainor “Me Too” & Drake “Headlines”- I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence. You catching onto the trend here? Love yourself first. If you don’t, no one else will. And I do not lack in that category. Like I said, I can be a little bit much for some people.

I speak the truth. I’m constantly spilling the tea #realtalk. I’m working on saying no more frequently and explaining the reasoning behind my actions less. I love my friends and family fiercely. I’m a humungoussss extrovert, I’ll likely make friends with anyone and everyone, especially if you show me a picture of your dog. I’ve got a creative side, I used to make all of the banners for the football and cheerleading teams in high school because I have surprisingly great handwriting. Oh and all 5’10”, 155lbs of almost pure muscle of me used to be a…. cheerleader. SURPRISE! And I was good. We competed in high school, I cheered in college. My biggest perk? I could lift the top girls like the guys could #musclebarbieforlife.

I lift heavy and also run half marathons.

I look like a hot mess express in the gym 
yet have also modeled in two runway shows.

I like dogs and cats.

I drink water and drink beer (& wine, tequila, rum, and whiskey).

I'll eat a salad a legit whole pizza by myself in the same weekend.

I'm friends with people of ALL kinds
- regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, LGBT community, etc.

You can catch me in a bikini at the peak of my physical ability...
as well as at the peak of my greatest bout of bloating #BODYPOSITIVITY

I listen to both sides of any argument or opinion.

I can be a basic bitch and the biggest tomboy within the SAME day.

Clearly, I don't discriminate, no matter the topic.

Oh and I like to travel the beautiful fricken world

So hey, nice to meet you. Come get to know me!

Subscribe to this here, truly honest, open to all topics, mostly vulgar blog.

& find me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_ 

So adiossss to the old “Meet the Carly” post. Hello WORLD. It’s me. Let’s chat 🙂


& In case you missed it, click here to SUBSCRIBE & be added to the newsletter list

Body Positivity Starts With the End of Stereotypical Bull Shit

and less bullshit swirling around social media will help too.


Body Positivity [movement]

from Wikipedia:

Body positivity is a social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, in doing so it challenges the ways in which society presents and views the physical body. The movement advocates the acceptance of all bodies no matter the form, size, or appearance. The goal of the movement is to address the unrealistic beauty standards and to build the confidence of oneself and others. The body positivity movement addresses the unfeasible about self-acceptance, beauty, and self-esteem. The movement sets forth the notion that beauty is a construct of society, and poses that this construct should not infringe upon one’s ability to feel confidence or self-worth. The idea surrounding the body positivity movement is centered around the notion that people need to love themselves to the fullest, accepting their physical traits.

Body positivity came from a place of good intention. And for the most part, I still think that good intention is there. And I can see why the need for body positivity is needed now more than ever. When the movement started, there were statements from popular magazines that they would stop airbrushing their models to provide a false sense of body portrayal.

The problem, is that now millions of other people have access to the same body editing tools that those magazine editors had. The magazines [might] have stopped editing so extreme, but now these apps exist where you can change the size of your waist, boobs, butt, legs, face structure, give yourself abs, and the list goes on. And these apps are FREE. I was downright flabbergasted to hear about these apps, and I nearly fell to the floor when I downloaded a few myself to see how easy it is for someone, for anyone, to edit their body and PUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.  You can’t believe anything anymore. Is that fitspo actually fit, or just good with an app?

If you follow me on Instagram [@lifeofcarlyb], then you saw my post last week in regards to these specific apps. In a matter of a few minutes I was able to magically give myself abs, or edit myself in a bikini to appear less bloated, lengthen my legs, enhance my boob size (see exibits A and B below)

So we live in a world where everything is glorified on social media, and I can see why body positivity has become such a widely used hashtag, with nearly 3 million tags on Instagram alone. Millions of people, women and men alike, are trying to spread the movement in an effort to squash the harsh beauty standards that society has created. I love it, I think it is FREAKING AWESOME. Like you go girl (or guy) you love yourself. Find that confidence, strut that strut. Let’s squash those beauty standards.

BUT something is happening in the midst of all of this, and while I don’t think it’s intentional, I still think it is something that needs to be…. re-thought about.

In an effort to make ourselves feel good, we are turning to common stereotypes to put down, bash, almost trash talk…. others. In an effort to build ourselves up, we are tearing something or someone else down.

You might be confused, but hang on for a second. You see, in this effort to post about body positivity, many times we throw in phrases against a certain body type and say things like “I may not be ______, but at least I’m _____ #bodypositivity”. You fill in the blanks, you’ve seen them before.

The idea that we have to compare ourselves against someone else is not squashing any stereotypes, it’s fueling the fire.

There’s a commonly shared meme that says “I may not be a Victoria Secret model, but I sure could pick one up and squat her”. I thought this was downright hilarious the first twenty times I saw it. The intention behind it is to be a strong woman, physically for sure, mentally maybe too. But it was until I had a friend who quite literally looks like a Victoria Secret model (okay she is a model, just not for VS), and she’s been naturally thin her whole freaking life that I saw the other side to this “I’m not this ____ but at least I’m not this_____”.

Some people are naturally skinny. Some people have the metabolism of a 3 year old kid that can’t stop bouncing off the walls, burning more energy before 6am than most adults do in a day. Some people are naturally thin, and to those that aren’t naturally thin, it isn’t something that you like to look at as a struggle. People who aren’t naturally thin, often times get disgusted that thin people can even exist naturally. So we put them down. I mean what can be so harmful in “poking fun” at someone who is skinny, I mean c’mon, they don’t have it hard. Right?

WRONG. Being thin, too thin, or thin to a point you can’t put on an ounce of muscle is an equally hard struggle for some people as it is for people trying to lose weight. You see, my friend, she’s tried to workout to put on muscle, to add some size. It doesn’t necessarily work. And I didn’t realize that by putting it out there that a VS model, or even a model body type is what some people, most people, in this movement are against, that we are demeaning others who have their very own struggle of their own. Don’t dig someone else in order to lift yourself up

Stereotypes and this body positivity movement cannot be alive at the same time. They will constantly be pulling against each other. They will continue to pin people against each other, allowing us to keep judging one another.

I was reading a book from one of my very favorite authors last night and something in the first chapter really struck me. She was pointing out that she was not perfect in school. She was awkward and not one of the popular girls. She didn’t have a body like the cheerleaders, she didn’t look like them. And the fact that she wasn’t skinny like the cheerleaders, made her an outcast.

I get it, since decades before social media was mainstream, the image of a cheerleader has been associated with not only popular but also skinny, pretty, and entitled. The stereotype has been the same for ages.

But let’s SQUASH THAT.

Coming from a 5’10” cheerleader who was most certainly not entitled for any minute of her life, I’m here to tell you that this kind of stereotype goes against the grain of accepting all, creating body positivity, etc. Maybe I’m just lucky to had been a cheerleader in a school where yes, cheer captains and quarterbacks were also on student council and hung out with people in the band on the weekends. And I recognize fully that I did not fit the bill of what most people thought a cheerleader should look like. You want to know what I did about that? I cheered for SEVEN YEARS including college. Throughout my entire cheer career- middle school, high school, and college, I cheered along side girls who also didn’t fit the bill. Girls that were maybe considered larger than the stereotype were throwing around gymnastic skills like you wouldn’t believe! They were freaking good. So let me tell you, that we cheerleaders don’t go into tryouts with a 5 page essay on how we’re perfect, and how we will uphold standards of perfect hair, teeth, weight, etc. Do some squads exist with tiny girls? Yes, likely co-ed college teams that need tiny girls for the guys to toss up. You want to see something impressive? Look for the all girl squads and see what kind of crazy awesome things they can do, with all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.

Cheerleaders have the stereotype that most people in the body positivity movement try to go against. They might post about their weight struggle, or how they are proud of where they are, and then point out that they never were a cheerleader in high school. That they never could have been a model. Never ____ stereotype, never _____.

EveryBODY is a someBODY.

It’s time to stop saying things like:

“I may not be a Victoria Secret model, but I sure could pick one up and squat her”

“I was always twice the size of the cheerleaders.”

“I may not have been a skinny popular bitch, but at least I had fun”

“You shouldn’t be allowed to wear those spandex, I can’t even get ONE LEG INTO BOTH SIDES”

“I can’t do yoga I’m not a twig bitch”

“I may not have abs, but at least I can have pizza”

“Why are you working out, you don’t need to lose weight?”

“Go eat a cheeseburger”

oh yeah or the other popular meme “When I see a fit person in the gym, I’m like ‘What are you doing here, you’ve already won, go home'”

We’ve come to a point where we are almost at a place where we can embrace self love with all that we have without putting others down, but we’re not quite there yet. Do I think that some people are too soft and get offended too easily? Absofreakinglutely. But we need to remember that every BODY is a someBODY. Maybe body positivity should be replaced simply with #selflove and that’s it. There’s no need to point out that in your effort to be your best and happiest self, that you at the same time are not ______. Stop putting other people down.

Instead of saying “I might not be _____ but at least I’m not ______”, we need to start saying “I might not be (insert goal here), yet, but I AM PROUD OF _____”

My confidence

My strong heart

My kind soul

My easy going nature

My ability to get to know people for who they are

My strong arms that hold my kids

My legs that take me places

My optimism

….. and so on.

And if you’ve read this far and you’re still not sure you want to take any of this seriously. I mean coming from me that is, because I am one of the skinny girls. Most of you know me as someone who has been “thin” and “in shape” and what not and have been nearly my whole life. You might think it comes easy to me (like previously mentioned scenarios) But I didn’t just magically appear this way, I worked for it. And you know what, if that wasn’t the case, why would it even MATTER?!?! It’s MY body, not yours. There’s backlash at people for being too big. And there’s disgust deriving from likely deeper emotions at people for being too thin.

Hey, how about this. Let’s associate body positivity with not only self-love but also with taking care of ourselves. We should strive to be healthy, from the inside out. And how you want that healthy to look and feel should be up to YOU.


If this resonates with you, please share this on any social media!

Tag me on instagram: @lifeofcarlyb_

If You Stop Spending Like an Asshole, You Just Might Be Able to See The World. #Findyourwanderlust

Travel is not just for the rich

I’m traveling my TAIL off in 2019.

In fact, I traveled my tail of in 2018 too.

& I’m only 25 years old.

We are not rich, yet we live fairly comfortably for 25 year olds.

Two full time jobs and two side hustles between the two of us. We work HARD. And we still have student loans (I’m talking $70,000+), a mortgage, a car payment, plus various other bills not to mention 2 dogs who seem to get into enough trouble to cost us $3,000 easily per year.

Yet we travel.

Let me say it louder for those in the back


You just can’t be an asshole about how you spend your money.

In 2018 we went to the beach 2 times, the NC mountains once, went to 10 states, had a WEDDING. We traveled 3,028 miles by ground and 9,519 miles by air. Oh and we didn’t go into a single penny of debt doing so.

I’m not here to give you a “how to stay out of debt and still travel like royalty”

No I’m here to tell you “to stop spending money like an asshole and actually go see the world”.

1 week from tomorrow we are heading to the beach, again. That will be 3 beaches visited in 4 weeks. We’re in the phase in our life where we want to do all the things, see the world, be set free from reality more than once a year. Wait scratch that, it isn’t a phase, it’s a way of life now.

traveling doesn’t have to be for the rich. We are not rich, yet here we are getting ready for our 3rd beach in a matter of 4 weeks. Here we are planning our flights to Rome and Germany this fall. HOW DO WE DO IT?!

everyone can travel.

I repeat.


you just have to cut the bull shit.

  • you do not need to eat out for lunch 5 days a week. pack a lunch.
  • you do not need to go out to dinner multiple times a week. you have 2 hands and a stove, go cook for yourself (it’s healthier anyway).
  • you do not need the newest version of the iphone. you want it.
  • you do not NEED that Starbucks every day before work. make yourself your own damn coffee. Buy the ingredients online, you can make that same shit at home for $1 a piece.
  • you do not need a manicure biweekly, or those eyelash extensions, or that spray tan, or those fake boobs, or whatever the hell else the ‘beauty standards’ are calling for these days.
  • Your dog doesn’t need that bandana because it’s cute (trust me I’ve almost fallen into this and likely will when it fits the budget).
  • You don’t need that new pair of brown sandals when yours from last summer are hold up just fine
  • You don’t NEED a second pair of shorts just because the sale is buy one get one 50% off. That’s still spending MORE money than you came into in the first place.
  • You don’t need that NFL bells and whistles package, you want it.
  • Do you need to see the movies in the theaters, or can you wait?
  • How many 5k races do you actually need to do?

there are things you splurge in because you like to.

Me? I buy new running shoes every 3-5 months. okay, I need to, but still.

choose your favorite “feel good items” and CUT THE SHIT.

A starbucks a day, 5X a week: $100

a biweekly manicure: idk, $40 a month

cutting back just ONE restaurant meal week: $60 a month (per person!)

now let’s stop right there. that $200 is the price we are paying for an airbnb in Myrtle beach for 2 NIGHTS! Holy crap- traveling IS POSSIBLE?!?

it is.

But wait let’s keep going.

  • Lunch at the cafeteria: $8-10. Lunch made at home: $2-$5.
  • That dog bandana that’s not necessary?: $15
  • Those sandals? :$20
  • That extra pair of shorts, even on BOGO: $20
  • That NFL Sunday Ticket package?: $100
  • Just one movie a month, for 2 people plus concessions: $40
  • The average registration fee for a 5K: $35

things add up.

oh and one last thing…..

Use FuelSaver systems, saving anywhere from 3 cents to up to a whole DOLLAR (at least here in NC), per gallon. If you’re buying a new car (cuz you need to) go for fuel efficiency! We each drive 50 miles or more per day, our car? 48-50 miles PER GALLON. 

As you’re cutting costs, spending thriftyly (is that a word), etc. Let me first suggest making a budget. Take a look at where you spent your money last month, and where you can cut costs. Remember, cutting costs just minorly, in multiple areas, can add up to be HUGE! Don’t feel like you have to cut everything, like I said earlier, it’s okay to still have your “splurge” items, if that is what makes you feel good. But trust me, a budget is hands down necessary when it comes to trying to travel more, while still living. There are plenty of budget apps (for free!), they are tedious to set up but once you get going, you’re rolling. Not to mention there are excel templates set up for budget tracking as well. Use resources and technology- it IS the 21st century afterall!

So stop telling yourself you can’t travel. You are just choosing to not travel by choosing other things. If travel is important to you (like it is us) then you need to figure out how to make it work.

Ask yourself- do you want to travel?

Yes? Okay, cut the shit and go see the world.

Your nails look just fine as they are.

You wanna know what looks better? experience, travel, the freakin world.


The Chapters of Branching Out

*as i started writing this, i intended to keep it short. that didn’t happen, so here’s your fair warning for a 5+ min read ahead 🙂 

It’s been 2 years.

TWO YEARS since we left Iowa. 

730 days since we packed up “Timmy” (the truck) and began our 986 mile, give or take, from the Midwest to the South.

We picked up our roots. Picked up our animals & loaded them up. And off we went.

Talk about a Valentine’s Day.

Our dogs have now lived in North Carolina for more months than they lived in Iowa, mind blown. 


If you’re close to me, you know a few obvious things about me.

  1. I talk about my dogs way too much
  2. I also talk about Orangetheory way too much
  3. I have no desire to move back to the Midwest

Greensboro, NC is home.

& i love it here.

I fell in love with this place kind of how you fall in love with a person. Unexpected. Starts off slow and then snowballs into this crazy ride of emotions. Chapter after chapter you learn something new and feel something more wonderful. There are messy parts, but mostly beautiful parts.

The chapters of North Carolina are no exception. Messy at times, wonderful at times, highs and lows, but now? Mostly highs.

Chapter 1

“I have a phone call with Volvo tonight, I’m either getting the job or not. I’m nervous”. Was more or less the sentence Alex told me minutes before his scheduled call with Volvo. It was January 25, 2017. After 2 interviews with Volvo, this was the moment. Alex had applied to many jobs prior to this, most of them located in the Midwest somewhere. But there were the few stragglers, a few in FL, maybe 1 in Texas, and then Greensboro, NC. What does Greensboro have to offer even? I had never heard anything about it.

The phone rang and not even 5 minutes later Alex came slowly out of the bedroom. Not talking for what felt like hours but it was probably only 7 seconds. A smile slowly creeps across his face as he says “I got the job”.

I jump off the couch, go hug him, congratulations and the whole shabang.

But when we settle back on the couch I slowly start to cry. Quiet at first and then it turns into quite the sob as I text my parents saying “Alex got the job”.

I don’t know why there isn’t a high school or college course titled “preparing you to be an actual adult” because when shit like this happens that’s exactly what you need.

All of a sudden I wanted to be excited as haiiiilll or finally doing something we, , had wanted to do for so long. Branch out, see the world, move closer to the beach. At the same time I wanted to be 16 years old again where my only worries were not getting caught for having more than 1 person in my car as a newly licensed driver and getting to the football games on time with my bow sitting perfectly in cheerleader-poufed hair.


23 years old is a weird age. You want to be a grown up, you want to do all the things. But you lack all of the former experience to know better, to know how to handle it.

So you take a leap of faith.

A few weeks later, with a smile on my face we all collected at our best friends Chelsea and Clints house for a going away party. All of our friends were there, regardless if they knew each other or not, or even if they knew Chelsea or Clint, they all were there. It felt good to be surrounded by so much love and so much FUN. And without a doubt, by the end of the night the alcohol would sink in and we would cry. Which we did, girls and boys, it didn’t matter, everyone was crying as we left that last bar at oh, 1 or 2AM.  That was it, it was time to say goodbye.

Chapter 2

27 days after that phone call we were off. In that time we had quit our current jobs, flown out to NC to get an apartment, and I began looking for a job, just something to start with in Greensboro. (Cue my beginning with Orangetheory, but that’s for a later chapter).

The drive was easy. It was sunny and our animals surprisingly were SO CALM (okay the dramamine helped). Every new state line we crossed, I was excited. When we got to our apartment, on February 15, and were unloading the truck in shorts and t-shirts. I was freaking ecstatic. Like “hell ya, why didn’t I move to the south sooner?!” My dad helped me unpack all of the fragiles, we put as many coffee cups and dishes away as we could. The sofas were in place, the beds were in their rooms. Alex and Logan were likely on the couch with a beer.

Unpacking made us ravenous, so we went out to eat. I wish I could remember where we ate, but I can’t. Although Kickback Jacks sounds right. All I remember is going to Boxcar, the brand spanking new “Beercade” in Greensboro. Stocked with a full bar and alllll of the nostalgic video games like PacMan and Skeeball. It was such a fun place that when Dad & I were tired enough to head home, Logan & Alex were just getting started with Jameson shots. So we left them.

The next day was the day for my dad and Logan to fly back to Illinois. The Jameson shots from the night before had caught up to a very hungover Logan. We got into a screaming match in the car, typical siblings.

But when it came time to see them off. I hugged them and choked back tears, I couldn’t let them see me afraid. But I was.

As soon as I got back in the car and began the 1.5 hour drive from Raleigh back to Greensboro I put on my sunglasses to hide my tears. I cried the whole way home.

Chapter 3

Six months went by in a freaking blur. But a good blur, that’s for damn sure!

My parents came out, not even a full month into being here, for my birthday. We went to Kure beach, it was quiet and quaint and we got to bring the dogs.

Right before that I met one of my best friends out here. idk how we became friends but we basically clicked right away. we liked similar things and disliked the same people (I’m talking about you Sasha)

3 weeks later Alex proposed to me, on his birthday, in Myrtle beach.

2 days after that I taught my first solo class at Orangetheory (where I had been working as a sales associate and going through training to be a coach for 6ish weeks already).

1 month after that my mom got diagnosed with cancer. And I remember saying on the phone “I knew as soon as I moved away something bad would happen, because that means I can’t be there for it”.

1 month after that we met my brother and his friend in Myrtle Beach again for Carolina Country Music Festival (highly recommend).

And 1 month after that we were back in the Midwest. Stopping at the best brewery known to mankind, New Glarus Brewery in New Glarus, WI. Home of the spotted cow. And then we met all of our best Iowa friends in my hometown of Byron, iL for the summer festival of the year there. Oh let’s not forget that I also picked out my wedding dress!!!

And finally, we moved into our FIRST HOME.

The first 6 months were solid. Things looked great, well they were great. I mean really, I fully understood how blessed I was to be in Greensboro, and all of the awesome things that came with it so far.

But I still didn’t quiteeeee belong yet. Hell, we hadn’t even found a vet that we liked yet (and you all know how much we NEED that with our rascal of a brat named Owen). I was still using my GPS almost daily, Sasha (and her boyfriend Kirky) were pretty much the only people we knew to call to hang out on the weekends. Did we have friends at work? Sure. If we saw them out could we say HEY! Absolutely. But we, so far, only had 2 best friends. I was still working part time, and it was wearing on me, job searching day in and day out. And i just down right missed my parents, my family, and my best friend Chels.


Chapter 4

Not to say that Chapter 3 wasn’t good at all, because it was. But it was absolutely the learning curve of “moving at the age of 23 and learning how to deal with it” because in the following 6 months, things picked up.

I got a full time job (HOLLLLAAA financial stability). I got asked to walk in a fashion show. I ran a half marathon and 2 days later got elbow surgery (which is freakinnnnn great now!). We made fellow midwesterners-transplated into- North Carolina- friends (shout out Teryn and Jerad). We went back to Iowa and I realized I didn’t miss it. My mom had surgery to remove her tumor.  Chelsea and Clint came to visit. We went to the NC mountains for the first time (TRUE BEAUTIES), and hosted both of our parents here for Thanksgiving. And by time we went to Charlotte for my first ever NFL game in Dec 2017, I finally said out loud “I DO like it here”.

Chapter 5

Approaching and passing our one year moveaversary was a big deal. I liked it in Greensboro, and by summer of 2018, I knew that I LOVED it. By then I knew I had no intentions of moving back to the Midwest (which previously I thought give it 5 years and we’ll be back). If you knew us during this chapter (Feb 2018-our wedding in Aug 2018), and know us now, you would think that we’ve always loved it here, that we always had a lot of friends, that we knew our way around etc. You would have looked at previously written chapters and thought “nah that’s not the Carly & Alex we know”. But this chapter is where we find our strides.

Work picks up, we make new friends (and i mean a PLETHORA of new friends), credit to Orangtheory for 99% of those friends to be honest, and we do alllll the wedding things. This is the chapter of making it.

And I’m just damn glad I allowed myself to open up chapter 1 so long ago, because without that I wouldn’t have made it to chapter 5, the “rising up” chapter, the part where we find our stride, the chapter where it all changed.

And if you knew me in this chapter, or any chapters that will exist after, you will know that THIS was when I was over the moon happy more days than not. Even with bad times, the better times shone brighter. My mom went into remission, we got married, our new friends introduced us to more new friends, we traveled. Promotions and raises happened, Alex’s job was great, I fell in love with OTF more than ever. We saw our family more in this chapter than in all previous 4 chapters combined.


Chapter 6

We realized that without Chapter 5, we wouldn’t be here in Chapter 6. Well, without any chapters we wouldn’t be here, but that’s not the point. If it weren’t for chapter 5, and some of chapter 4, I wouldn’t be so excited to be starting a chapter 6 in North Carolina. I’ve seen people move to new places, be so excited there, and then move away because it wasn’t up to par. I’m glad that North Carolina wasn’t that story for us, but I know it could have been.

2 years into living in North Carolina, with no forecast of leaving anywhere in the future. We are hitting 2019 RUNNING. As we started this year we had 6 trips FOR SURE in the books, with more in the works. We are traveling to new places, to same places. We are traveling with friends, and with family. We have activity after activity to do here in Greensboro. New opportunities to grab, and the chance to keep killin it in old opportunities.

So when I say “I’m glad that North Carolina wasn’t that story for us, but I know it could have been”. I’m saying it to tell you, anyone reading this, that might be starting something new. A new city, a new job, a new puppy or child, and new relationship. I’m here to tell you that you need to do it with your whole heart. TRY it full speed ahead. Do your best. Ask for help. Find friends that support this new journey. And always find the brightside. always always always. the world is too dark a place for you to make it darker with any negative thoughts.

New opportunities don’t come often. There will be seasons of no opportunities at all and seasons of many. that just means when you get a chance to do something new, I need you to DO IT.

You never know the greatness that lies ahead.

You literally never know.

Thanks NC for being a great journey.

I can’t wait for more.

Thank you to the friends we’ve made out here.

And the friends we’ve kept from afar.

Thank you to our families for supporting us through it all.

& thank you for reading this far.



Much love & wanderlust
❤ Carly & Alex


And to read all of my previous sappy posts about living out here click the links below:

“6 months southern”  

“One year, NC”

“Take that leap of faith”


To the girl planning her wedding

The the girl planning a wedding….

Take it all in.

I know, barf right. You’ve heard that before. But I mean it.

Because when it’s over you will feel empty. There will be a big black hole hanging over your head for at least the first week and you won’t be sure how to handle it or what to do with yourself.

  • Take in the joy of getting to choose your perfect venue and your perfect dress.
  • Take in the stress of dealing with changes, vendors that might back out, miscommunication, and whatever else can go wrong.
  • Take it in when all of your loved ones gather in one city for YOU
  • Take it all in because it will all go away.

16 months of planning. That’s how long it was for me. 16 months of planning for what?

A damn good time I’ll tell you that!

Your wedding day will be here before you know it. Trust me. It might seem like it is light years away at this point, but just like anything else in life, time moves quickly. And this is no exception. You will only get this experience one time in your life (or at least my hope for your marriage is that you only get to experience this one time). So think about that. How many other things in your life do you get to experience truly only ONCE? Not many.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to do this or how to do that, or which vendors to choose or any of that. There are plenty of self help pages for that on Pinterest or the Knot. But I do have TWO major tips for you that were so so SO beneficial to me:

  1. Hobby Lobby: know that shit, use that shit. Did you know that Hobby Lobby ALWAYS has 50% off deals? And they rotate. For example, if I went to the store for flowers and they weren’t half off, I’d come back the NEXT WEEK because then they would be! Same went for some pieces of furniture I got for the wedding, and utilizing their wedding section. If you are there for anything DON’T BUY IT ON THE SPOT IF IT IS NOT 50% OFF. It will be next week, TRUST ME! (except for furniture, that is always 30% off and doesn’t rotate).
  2. Hire a day of coordinator. I only did because our venue required and holy shit balls it was hands down the BEST forced decision I had ever made. Do it. Trust me. That is all.

And now, for the most important thing you should hear:

Be selfish.

This day is about you. And if I’m being honest, the only true stresses that I got out of my wedding planning stemmed from the opinions of others. Sure it’s nice to have others there to support your decision making, but if an opinion comes without first being prompted by you, then brush it off. This is your day.

Make it your goal from the start to not be bridezilla. That was my goal and I have to say besides getting pissed that my family wasn’t on time for pictures and therefore we had to wait and I was hot as a mother from being outside so long only to take a few pictures inside, I’d say that I wasn’t a bridezilla at all. (holy run-on sentence!) And with not being a bridezilla comes with not having unrealistic expectations in your head, which could totally kill the vibe of your day if they don’t play out exactly as you imagined.

I picked out my dress in 45 minutes and with only 6 try ons because I wasn’t looking for something so specific, so overly specific that I couldn’t even design it myself. I wasn’t looking for specific, I let the dress find me.



We looked at 3 venues and ended up picking the FIRST one that I saw online. It was meant to be. I let my bridesmaid pick out their jewelry and shoes and their style of dresses. I let Alex pick out his groomsman accessory (i.e. socks, tie clips, etc.) I got my flower girl dresses online from Macy’s to not spend a fortune and I made nearly 90% of our wedding decor. I let our wedding coordinator display the decor in the venue how SHE thought was best because well, she had done it a time or two before 😉

But above that…

Don’t feel like you have to please everyone. Don’t feel like you have to invite everyone. Think about your big day and who do you picture there? Those are the people who should be invited. Not people who you only met when you were 3 years old and wouldn’t recognize them in person. Not the people who were once a part of your life but aren’t anymore, but you feel like you need to invite them to save feelings from being hurt. This is your day. YOUR DAY.

Know that vendors will try to screw you over. Learn how to be a negotiator. I got a discount from every. single. one. of my vendors because I didn’t accept the first price point given (except for maybe my photographer because we love her). I didn’t do my hair trial because why in the effing world would I pay $75 for a hair style that I AM going to take out as soon as I get home? So I didn’t do it and guess what, they still did my hair. Oh and keep good records, because chances are one or more vendors will come to you the week of the wedding saying you owe more just because they didn’t record it correctly.

If you want traditional stuff done at your wedding then great, go for it! But if you’re like us, then you just wanted to party. And I am so so glad that we didn’t do an hour worth of specific dances (i.e. dollar dance, etc) or that we didn’t make people sit there and watch us try to horridly perform a pre-coreographed dance. Instead, we got the “stuff” done and everyone headed to the dance floor. Where it was packed for the whole night.

Oh and speaking of partying. Let me be the first to recommend having your rehearsal TWO nights prior. Because by the way all of us were feeling the morning after our rehearsal dinner, none of us would’ve been comfortable if it were the wedding day 😀

Know that you set the tone for the wedding. If you’re stressed, it will show. And people will either try to comfort you (which might piss you off more) or they will walk on egg shells. I can gladly say that I had only one 10-minute stressed out freak out moment and was OVER it. For the entire day.

If people ask you questions that are not relevant to YOU. Or they want direction on wedding related stuff (i.e. what to wear) I suggest delegating someone to answer that! If you don’t have any specifics in mind, then don’t stress out trying to come up with the answer. We directed these tasks to other people and I must say that all questions were taken care of by people other than us, and everyone looked rather dashing at the wedding.

If you want specific pictures then MAKE A LIST. I wish I would have made a specific list, but I have to say that my photographer did GREAT. The only picture I knew I wanted FOR SURE was one with my dogs. Were my dogs brats that day? Yep. Did we get a picture? Yep. And if your wedding is outside. Take charge when you are hot. Don’t ask to go inside, say that you are going inside.

It’s okay to go outside the box. And if you’re looking for permission to well then let me tell you some things that we did that were out of the ordinary:

  • My bridal party dresses were not the same style, nor were they all the same color
  • We did not exchange our own personal vows at the alter and rather did a private exchange
  • We did not know our pastor personally before the day of the wedding
  • We didn’t do pre-marital counseling
  • We didn’t take dance classes
  • We didn’t pre choreograph a stupid dance
  • We booked our cake and cupcakes without even sampling first. The reviews were good enough
  • We didn’t use real flowers. Not even my bouquet
  • I didn’t give 2 shits what people other than my wedding party wore on the day of the wedding
  • We didn’t save the top layer of our cake. Our freezer is small and we eat healthy so that thing would sit and sit and sit
  • We did not do the garter dance, just the garter toss
  • We did not do the dollar dance (put your money elsewhere people)
  • We did not go on a honeymoon right after the wedding. We’re waiting a whole year
  • We lived together for 3 years prior to the wedding
  • I didn’t do a hair trial
  • We did our own make up
  • We had our rehearsal two days before the wedding
  • I didn’t invite everyone that I had ever interacted with in my life

And some things that I wouldn’t have done, had I not been talked into it by important people in my life

  • A bridal shower
  • A gift registry

I just had a really hard time asking people for gifts just because I found my soul mate. Still is a weird concept to me- like hey I found love, now give me gifts!- always will be.

At the end of the day. Enjoy it. Take it in. Both the planning process and the actual wedding. Because people tell you that it goes by so quickly, but what no one told me was that it goes by so quickly that it turns into one big blur. I’m still finding that I’m like OH yeah that DID happen! And wishing that we had taken more pictures on our personal phones to show behind the scenes. A total blur. But one hell of a partying, rowdy, fun-loving, fairytale type of blur.


Last tip? Get a go-pro, and let that shit do it’s own thang.


The new Mrs. Buehler

And if you’re a guest of the wedding, someone in the wedding party, or family. Here is my note to you

BE ON TIME AND DO WHAT YOU’RE ASKED! The bride and groom have a million things to do and are being pulled in a million different directions. They do not need to wait on YOU. Be respectful. 

That is all I have for you

Volunteering Changed Me, It Can Change You Too

13 months ago I began volunteering in animal rescue. More specifically, I began volunteering with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue out of Greensboro, NC. It wasn’t even something I was looking to do at the time, something I didn’t know I wanted to do. But things have a way of finding you when they need you, or when you need them.

Growing up I, like many of you I’m sure, had to do “community service” for sports or schooling organizations, or had to do X amount of volunteer hours for a college class. I didn’t want to, I slacked off, I didn’t understand the value of giving my free time to help a cause. I was young and immature, I know that.

However, choosing to volunteer has created a snowball effect in my life. It’s not just one snowball either. It’s as if the main snowball of volunteering, branched off, broke off, into many different smaller but still important snowballs. Volunteering with TGRR led to volunteering with 2 other animal rescue groups. It has led to me volunteering for free shifts at work or other things , just because! It has led to me talking more about causes beyond animal rescue such as cancer. It has led me to a philanthropist mindset.

In a different snowball it has changed how I interact with my dogs. It has changed how I interact with new dogs that we meet. I’ve learned how to approach new dogs, knowing now that now all dogs can be approached the same. And by approaching a dog wrong, you could get an adverse reaction making that dog seem rough, cruel, not adoptable, etc.

In an additional snowball it has changed how I talk about dogs with others. Knowing that proper pet education is one of the most important things in the future of animal rescue.

It has given me new connections, allowed me to connect with new people. Opened my heart to new things.

Volunteering has changed me.  It can change you too.

With the holiday seasons coming up, my heart is feeling a little extra heavy.

  • Heavy because I know there are animals that are tied up outside, away from the love of the family interacting inside. They are yard dogs and nothing more
  • Heavy because I know there are animals in shelters, living out their last few hours in hopes of some miracle family coming in to take them home. That family won’t come, there’s too many animals in the shelter, and not enough awareness about it.
  • Heavy because I know there are dogs and cats having unexpected litters right now because their owners failed to spay or neuter them. And when those litters can’t be given away for free (NEVER a guarantee at a good home either.  In fact, giving your animal away for free often lands it in a puppy mill, or a dog fighting home) those tiny puppies and kittens will be taken to a shelter.
  • Heavy because there are animals in shelters who will be alone for the holiday. And while they don’t know what Thanksgiving or Christmas is, they will most certainly be more lonely when the staff disappears for their holidays, only to have few staff members check in infrequently to let the dogs out. No fault to the staff members either. It’s to the fault of the bastards who surrender their animals there in the first place.
  • Heavy because I know there are animals out there, maybe even in my own neighborhood, who are being neglected and abused, but their angel person hasn’t discovered them yet, hasn’t rescued them yet.
  • In every. single. animal rescue organization operation there is never enough volunteers. Which is why I’m urging you today to consider taking on one of these roles. I’m urging you to help
  • First and foremost, consider opening your home (or garage!) to a temporary holiday foster. Relieve some dog or cat from the loneliness of the shelter around the holidays
  • And if you can’t foster, go walk some dogs! Never underestimate the healing nature of persistent and consistent human interaction on a dog or cats mental stability while being sheltered.
  • Sign up as an actual volunteer, and stick to it! It’s more common to have people sign up to be volunteers and never actually put an hours worth of work in, than it is to see volunteers actually go through with their actions

You can be any of the following:

  • A foster, hands down the most important role that every organization is lacking in

  • A dog walker

  • A part of the events team, working events only

  • Part of the social media team, working on the organizations page and sharing on your own too

  • Part of the fundraising team

  • You could even create fun events for volunteers and prospective volunteers to mingle and engage with one another

  • You could be part of the adoption application process. There are many steps to this. Intake, phone interview, vet reference checks, home visits, match-making between dog and family, etc.

  • You could work with animal transport team, bringing animals into a no-kill organization, sparing them from the shelter.

  • Heck, you could even just focus on proper education on proper pet ownership

There are many ways to help. Trust me. I started off as a volunteer just to write the pieces for our website about our adoptable dogs, and now I’ve expanded to also do:

Write about our recently adopted dogs, the ever so anticipated “adoption announcements”

  • Telephone interviews for adoption applications
  • Vet reference checks for adoption applications
  • Home visit checks for adoption applications
  • Some weekend events
  • Dog walker and socializer

I get not everyone is suited to volunteer in animal rescue. Some think you may not have time, trust me you do.

Some of you may have thought about volunteering but have questions about it. Just ask!! We will answer.

And for those who consider being a foster family. No organization will just thrust a dog or cat upon you. You have to agree to it, you get to know about the dog or cat first, you decide if you think it will work. Fostering is hands down the most important part of any animal rescue. So what are you waiting for, go sign up!

Below are some of my favorite organizations, yes some are local to my area, but some are nationwide too! If none of these are close to you, then take it upon yourself to do a little research. Google works magic these days

  • Triad Golden Retriever Rescue- Greensboro, NC
  • Humane Society of Alamance County- Burlington, NC
  • SPCA of the Triad- Greensboro, NC
  • Tracy’s Dogs- Texas
  • Paws4Ever- Mebane, NC
  • Big Fluffy Dog Rescue- Nashville, TN
  • Silver Muzzle Cottage- Michigan
  • Merit Pit Bull Foundation- Greensboro, NC
  • Almost There Foster Care – Arizona
  • Best Friends Animal Society – Utah
  • Kansas City Pet Project- Kansas City
  • Underdog Rescue- Minnesota
  • Humane Society (International and of the United States)

I know many people are getting a little, tired, of seeing me posts about animal rescue so much. But I believe that there is much more reward in trying, and in doing, and because of that I will not stop talking.

I urge you to sign up as a volunteer today. If any of the above reasons doesn’t convince you enough, think of all of the new people who could meet. Think of the lives you could change. 

Why Puppies and Kittens Should Not Be Christmas Gifts


Look at that face! You want it for Christmas soooo badly right?!

Please. Stop there. Think again. Read on and you’ll find out why.

But first, let me introduce myself

Hey, my name’s Carly

For the past 12 months I’ve been volunteering with the Triad Golden Retriever Rescue (TGRR) out of Greensboro, NC. Over time, I’ve taken on more and more responsibilities.

In 2017, TGRR took in 39 dogs throughout the whole entire year (all Golden’s or Golden mixes only). So far into 2018 we’ve taken in 57, and counting. It’s the Chinese Year of the Dog (literally!) and we feel it.

I’ve also done some volunteering with SPCA and Humane Societies.

I’ve gotten attached to 3 dogs who I would walk weekly, as much as I could, who were couped up in a shelter because we couldn’t find a foster home for them. All 3 of which had to be euthanized, 2 of which because of behavioral issues that grew to be too harmful because they were kennel crazy.

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My work in animal rescue has opened my eyes to a lot of things. And I know that proper pet ownership education is one of the most important things that needs to be addressed. More chat on that later. 

As I opened an email this morning to an adoption announcement of a 9 year old dog, I was flipping through the pictures seeing it interact with the children and thought “Now THAT is a true Christmas present”. A family, a loving family, for that dog in old age. And we know that family is a good family because we’ve done research on it. They reached out to us, they didn’t go to the nearest back yard breeder for a cheap, cute puppy. They did it right.


So let me say this, for the general population. For you “act on impulse”, “I want to be the hero of the family” type people….


Especially the “oh look I surprised you bull shit” 

Choosing to get an animal is a HUGE decision. You don’t do it because your 4 year old begs you, or because your girlfriend of 3 months talks about how bad she wants one. You don’t do it on impulse and you don’t do it if you work long hours, every single day.

Because animals are hard work:

  • They outgrow the puppy stage
  • They require annual vaccinations, which alone can cost you $100+ per animal. Not to mention check ups or emergency visits
  • Do you even know how much dog food costs?
  • How about potty training. That puppy will pee and poop in your house and you will get frustrated and return that thing quicker than you got it.
  • Animals, dogs moreso than cats, require quality attention. You can’t just leave your animal alone all freaking day while you’re at work. Not only is it terrible for their need for socialization, they will eventually get bored and get into things. And you’ll get mad, and you’ll return it.
  • And then someday that animal will grow old. And it will move slower than you’d like or require extra medical attention, which yes- costs more. And you’ll be frustrated and you’ll send it off to the shelter because like it never was a part of your family.

And if you’re thinking that your impulse decision to want to get a puppy now doesn’t put you in that category. That you’re ‘aware’ and ‘a good person’. Well, look at these statistics, I will bet ya that many of these pet owners thought that they knew what they were doing. But like many facets of life, convenience overrules every aspect of pet ownership. And when that pet is no longer convenient or no longer a puppy, they got fed up:

In the state of North Carolina, among 89 reporting shelters, during the year of 2017:

  • 57,561 cats were euthanized
  • 24,907 dogs were euthanized
  • 82,902 euthanasia’s were performed as a whole (this includes, bats, pigs, misc. animals)

Think about that puppy or kitten you’ve been considering getting as a Christmas gift for your 5 year old because they won’t shut up about it. They’re so cute and precious and everyone loves a puppy. How much work is it really?

Now think about those numbers. The amount of dogs and cats who were waiting, with loving eyes and a hopeful, yet scared soul to find their forever home. They were confined to a kennel, going more stir crazy with each passing day. The only hope be any volunteer that could let them out for a walk. If the shelter had enough volunteers that is.

Moreso, the number of animals surrendered to animal shelters rises dramatically about 3-6 months after Christmas. Why? Yeah, you remember that cute puppy you got. Not so cute now that it’s peeing in the house, escaping the kennel, and not responded well to training (oh wait, you’re not trying to train it).

Shelter’s have a max capacity. And when influxes of Christmas gifts come in, it puts the shelter into an overwhelming, over capacity place. Some dogs, as a response to that, have to go. The first ones on the chopping block? Old dogs.


Many dogs in shelters are older in age, which is sad because that means they likely lived the first part of their life with a family. And not all cases are the story of a dog tied up in the backyard being neglected to the point that someone else saved them and called the shelter. No, some of those dogs were part of the family. Until something came along that made the family just throw their hands up, and say forget it. A new child, a new job, a move, a divorce etc. All invalid reasons in my opinion, try to change my mind.

Out of our 57 dogs so far this year with TGRR, 25 of them have been in the later half of their years. Yes, some are in our care because their owners died, others are in our care for previously mentioned “excuses”.

People neglect getting older dogs because they don’t want the heartache that comes with losing it. You people, are the real MVP’s, because that shows that you care about your dogs. However, think about the life the dog potentially has had, why not be their hero and give them an amazing end of life? Not to mention, they generally are pretty decent with commands at that point!

Okay, so you really want a puppy. Out of our 57 dogs at TGRR, 15 of them have been 2 years old or less. A large percentage of dogs (and cats!) in animal shelters are in the puppy or kitten stage too. So look beyond that PetSmart window, or the “ad for puppy” on the side of the road. News flash, those are all backyard breeding cases. Another rant for another time.

So let’s round back to my point. Choosing to get a puppy or a kitten as a Christmas gift is NOT the way to go. Walk into an animal shelter, connect with one of those hopeful souls, give them a second chance at life.

And to those of you who are incredible pet owners out there, I salute you, and I want to be friends with you. I do believe there are more good people in the world, so cheers to you!


I also encourage you to volunteer at your local animal shelter because they ALL NEED IT! And while you can, spread the word of proper pet ownership. If your neighbor is planning to get a dog, but you know their gone most of the day, talk some sense into them. If you see a dog chained up on a short leash 24/7, no matter the season, call for help. THAT is when it’s okay to be a hero.

You don’t have to be your family’s hero on Christmas, buying that cute puppy.

But you can be a shelter animal’s hero on Christmas, adopting them- the right way. 

Take That Leap of Faith

Take that leap of faith.

And take it with your whole heart.

Lately, I’ve been places, in social situations, hanging with friends, etc. where I have
stopped and looked around and literally thought “man I love it here”.
PicMonkey Collage
But it hasn’t always been that way.

17 months ago, almost exactly, we moved from Iowa to North Carolina.

That’s over 1,000 miles between where we’ve always been to where we were heading.

I grew up in the MidWest. It was all I knew.

But then the time came where we knew we wanted to venture out, we felt stuck. And so we began acting on that. Alex starting applying for jobs around the country. Yes, most were in the Midwest, but in places that we loved- such as Madison, WI and Kansas City, KS. But then there was one in Greensboro, NC with Volvo.

We acted on our feelings of wanting to be elsewhere, but did I ever think it would happen? Nope, not really to be honest.

And then it did. Volvo called Alex. They did a phone interview, and then flew him to Greensboro for an interview. 3 weeks later he got the call that he got the job.

I remember that night. He had a call set up about the interview, he knew it would go one of 2 ways. The phone rang, he stepped into our bedroom for 5 minutes, and then he slowly came out. He was quiet, he walked slow, and then a smile crept across his face as he said “I got the job”. We cried. We cried out of happiness, but then literally 60 seconds into that cry I started to sob.

And that wasn’t happiness. 

I was hit with a wave of realization that I was going to have to leave my family and the place of the nation where I always called home, the Midwest.

I grew up in Illinois. Every Sunday when we were young we would go to my dad’s parents house for Taco Sunday. My dad was one of six children, so the family was large. My cousin on my dad’s side was my best friend growing up and still is to this day. We’d always go to my dad’s side for Christmas Eve or Christmas day, and go to my mom’s side for the other. Every year. My mom was one of five children, so that family was big as well. I would go to my mom’s sisters house and hang out with my other best friend cousin. We would put on my aunts shoes and play dress up. As we got older we would party in their pool and eventually we started a “Black Wednesday” tradition of getting a party  bus for the family the night before Thanksgiving. Growing up we never missed holidays with the family, even Easter where we began doing “Adult Easter egg hunts”. We would go to every birthday party that we could. We were involved, and family time was never something I hated.

Alex and I had lived in Iowa for 4.5 years at this point. It was where we went to college and met. It was where we met the people that are standing beside us in our wedding in 4 weeks. It was home away from home, with a family there too. Sure, a slightly more inebriated, crazy, stay up late and eat bread sticks kind of family, but a family nonetheless.
Alex & Carly-11
So there I was, sobbing. It was scary. How was I going to move away and miss all of that? How was I going to be ONLY one on both extended sides of the family to make a permanent move farther than 3 hours away from home?

I was 23 years old and terrified. The dreams of leaving that we had hoped and prayed for had come true and I was terrified.

I remember the night before we left, our friends came over to say goodbye and the conversation kept going, as if to put off the actual good bye.

And I said goodbye to my best friend. My literal twin in a shorter versioned body of myself. Someone I never would have met if it weren’t for Iowa. And when she left I went into our empty bedroom and cried. And Alex came in and said “We don’t have to do this. We don’t have to leave. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to, but I need you to tell me now” And I contemplated saying “yes let’s stay here, I can’t leave”.

But I didn’t. And the next morning we packed up the uhaul and began our 15 hour trek, divided into 2 days, across country.


And then, 3 days later when I dropped my dad and brother off at the airport after they had helped us move. Even after getting into a screaming argument with my very hungover brother on the car ride there. I sobbed again. Alone in my car. I put my sunglasses on so no one could see. I cried because this was it, we were on our own.

Now so far, I probably seem like some wildly emotional person, and I kind of am. But 90% of my cries are dog related. But in this period of my life I was crying for other reasons.

I was crying because I went from a town of less than 10,000 growing up, to a town of 41,000 for college, to a town of 287,000. And now we were on our own, with 287,000 strangers surrounding us.

My mom worried, because I didn’t know anyone out here. She knew the kind of social butterfly I was and how important it is to me to have social events to go to and friends to hang with. It’s true, I am an extrovert like that.

But to no one’s surprise, I dove in, I got a job at Orangetheory Fitness and within the first 2 weeks I met one of my bridesmaids. The first 4 months flew by and I was making friends, I had stopped using my GPS as much (but definitely still needed it!), we had found places that we liked to revisit, such as 913 whiskey bar.


But truth be told I still would drive to and from work and miss home so agonizingly bad that I would either crank up some upbeat tunes for jamming to get my mind off of it, or I would play songs that reminded me of home.

On this exact weekend last year we went back to my hometown in Byron, IL for the annual summer festival. We were supposed to fly in on Thursday night, but our flight got cancelled and I cried. I cried because that was 13 hours less of family time that I would have, even though we would see them bright and early the next morning.

That trip home reminded me of why i loved the Midwest. And when people asked why I was so excited to be going home, I would simply say “you don’t understand the Midwest unless you’ve lived there”.


And we returned from that trip and I still didn’t feel like I was home, I feel like I just left it, because i did. Yes, I was making friends. We were fitting in. We were engaged and moving into a new home, but I still missed some things.

But then we went back to Iowa in September and this wave of “ahh things DO happen for a reason” came over me. Maybe I didn’t need to miss the Midwest so agonizingly bad afterall. I realized that the college town needed to stay that, the college town. That it’s better to look back at places with good memories than to be stuck there wishing you were out.

And as time flew by I made more friends either through Orangetheory, or my new job, or Alex’s job. And things have changed.

I took me 9 months to say for the first time “I like it here”

It took me about 14 months to say for the first time “I love it here”


I now view this place with the same loving heart that I viewed my Midwest home’s with. Except I also realize the potential within the city that was not possible in Illinois or Iowa. I don’t want to leave.

You see, Greensboro has introduced me to a wide variety of friendships.
We got engaged here (okay well Myrtle Beach but you get the point), we bought a house.
I’ve walked in a few fashion shows.
I’ve done a photo shoot.
I’ve started an online business.
I’ve started volunteering with animal rescues which has put animal rescue into the very center of my heart.
I’ve seen the craziest sunset and some pretty sweet fireworks from the top of a parking deck.
I’ve dipped my toes in the sand more times in these past 17 months than I had my entire life prior.
I’ve also seen the prettiest view from high up in the mountains,
I’ve made friends with owners of restaurants and bars.
I’ve been a boat for the first time in years.
I’ve tried wake surfing.
I’ve had a birthday bar crawl that I have to say, was beyond epic.
I’ve gone to my first NFL game.
Greensboro has given me opportunity after opportunity.
I get to coach people at OTF weekly who are my friends, who are grateful for the experience.
I have friends who refer friends to me and my business, in which I’ve gotten to change people’s lives.
We have friend groups that are so separate that can also intertwine and mingle as if they’ve know each other for ages.
We’ve made friends that would fly across the country to go to Vegas with us, or to Kansas City.
We’ve made friends that are fellow dog parents and therefore, have had many doggy play dates!
PicMonkey Collage2
So when I take a step back and look at the people I’ve met and the experiences I have had SO far. I am happy. I am blessed.

I freaking love this city. I still miss the Midwest. But I consider myself lucky. Because not everyone gets excited about vacationing to the MidWest. Hell, some people will NEVER travel there. But I get to go there, and go to all of our favorite places and it is a darn good vacation when we doo!

Greensboro, you and your community of nice, yet wild people have stolen my heart.

I fell in love with this city and the experience.

I did it because of a leap of faith.

You can too.